Trees at 328 Sterling Way, Ken & Cindy Papai

We have 3-4 Leyland Cypress trees planted on south side of our property, interspersed with (Magnolia/Gardenia/Fig?) trees. The Cypresses were planted approx. summer, 2001.

Leyland Cypress tree, kpapai photo, March 1, 2004 1. Leyland Cypress - The Leyland Cypress is a handsome, fast growing evergreen that is used extensively in the Southeast . This rapidly growing landscape evergreen has fine, feathery, soft-green pointed needles and keeps its foliage year round. This popular landscaping tree grows well in many southeastern states and is sustainable in plant hardiness zones 6-10. It is an excellent choice for privacy screens, hedges, groupings, noise abatement and even as Christmas trees. Leyland cypress is a hybrid of two Pacific Coast species, Monterey cypress and Alaska-cedar and has been given the scientific name of x Cupressocyparis leylandii. It is a favorite because it is fast growing and is adaptable in many environments. The Leyland Cypress grows well in varied soil types and flourishes in full sun. The Leyland cypress forms a graceful pyramid, with dense pendulous branches and fine, feathery foliage. The attractive, cone-shaped evergreen retains its needles and does not shed.

From its initial planting, the Leyland generally takes 10 weeks to root. If cared for properly, one can expect the tree to grow 3 to 4 feet per year.

This tree tolerates severe trimming, and can be restrained at an early age with pruning. Although Leyland cypress can be sheared into a tall screen on small lots, it is most effective when allowed to develop into its natural shape. Regular trimming is necessary to retain a formal hedge, screen or windbreak. Leylands prefer to be planted in full sun. They will grow in partial sun, but to reach their full potential of fullness and height, full sun is best. Dig a hole approximately 2 times the size of the root ball. Add some soil conditioner, such as Nature’s Helper. Place the tree in the hole and cover with dirt so that the top of the root ball is even with the top of the soil level. Leylands should be planted 5 - 6 feet apart for privacy screens and windbreaks. Your trees should be watered deeply two or three times per week. When the roots are established, in about 6 weeks, you can discontinue the watering unless it is unusually hot or dry. DO NOT WATER DAILY. Too much water will cause root rot. Your tree will start to turn brown and you will assume it needs more water, but that will only worsen the problem. If this happens, reduce the water, prune off the dead limbs.

About 3 or 4 weeks after planting your trees, fertilize lightly with a general-purpose fertilizer like 10-10-10 or 13-13-13. Just sprinkle the fertilizer lightly around the drip line of the tree. Fertilize your trees quarterly for optimum growth. Leylands can be pruned to control height or width. Leylands can withstand severe pruning if necessary. Leylands are clean, hypoallergenic trees. They are drought resistant and somewhat resistant to insects... Leylands require minimal care and should last a long time if taken care of properly.

`Naylor's Blue' has grayish-green foliage and a narrow, columnar outline.
`Leighton Green' has a tall, columnar form with rich green foliage.
`Robinson's Gold' has yellowish foliage which appears golden-bronze in spring.
`Silver Dust' has bluish-green foliage marked with white and spreads wider than others.
Crape Myrtle, kpapai photo, July 10, 2004 2. A Crape Myrtle tree is in our front yard, planted April, 2004. It's an excellent heat tolerant tree with beautiful flowers. Ours started flowering June, 2004 already.
O'Connell Landscape - Marin yard designer we used on Sterling Way, April 2004.

Crape Myrtle trees are a favorite in the South, because these heat-tolerant beauties bloom even in the midst of the intense summer heat, when little else will bloom. Further North (in zone 6, say), crape myrtle trees may die back to the ground in winter, then re-emerge in spring.... As a result, a plant that becomes a 30' tree in the South may remain a 4' shrub in the North. But you still get to enjoy its fantastic flower clusters!

Magnolia or Fig/Gardenia tree, kpapai photo, Mar. 1, 20043. Magnolia or Gardenia Tree, or an Ornamental Fig?, planted approx. summer 2001 by Victoria. There are 3-4 of these interspersed with the Cypress. Is it a Southern Magnolia? I still need to identify what we have (KJP 7/12/04) here. I might be thinking that this is a Gardenia.

Weeping Willow tree, kpapai photo, July 10, 2004 4. Weeping Willow tree, planted on the north side of our property around 2001. It's already 15' high (June 2004).
About Weeping trees. North American willows information - "The White Willow is often in landscapes in the form of its weeping cultivars. Like most willows, it tolerates very moist soil but also creates litter problems in the form of twigs. These fast-growing trees are usually injured in ice and wind storms."
How to prune trees by the USDA.

Oleander along fence line, kpapai photo, July 10, 20045. Oleander shrubs/bushes with red and white flowers line our backyard fence. Oleanders are very harder and do enjoy our Zone 8-9 climate. "For faster growth fertilize in spring with 5-10-5. Trim the tips of the stems after the flowers have dropped. Don't hesitate to cut back severely (to the ground if necessary)." Link 1 and Link 2.
"Salt-tolerant, drought-tough, long-blooming. And if given moderate care, oleanders can provide years of color to low-maintenance landscapes.

There is a small catch, though. The oleanders (Nerium oleander) are just moderately cold hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 8; higher, they may survive only as herbaceous perennials."
Oleander is toxic - a toxin called Cardenolide Glycoside.

Mystery Gardenia, kpapai photo, 8/15/04 Mystery Gardenias. these were planted by me in pots next to front door, Aug. 15, 2004. I have them on automatic drip irrigation.
I'll be adding photos as these plants grow, develop and best of all -- flower! Mystery Gardenia information - description and characteristics. "Gardenia is a lovely shrub from South China growing as tall as 8 feet, but usually smaller. Gardenias are evergreens with compact stems and dark green leaves when properly planted and properly fertilized."

My GardenWeb page.

A good resource for plants: FLORIdata, a practical plant encyclopedia. Back to homepage

Updated: Ken Papai, Aug. 16 - Dec. 16, 2004